Every day, you get up with the best intentions. But until you do this, the stress will keep building.
You’re stressed out.
You’re stressed because you’re not sure what’s going to happen, and you’re afraid. Plain and simple. And what are you afraid of? You’re afraid that when whatever is going to happen happens, you won’t be ready.
And the stress will keep building until…
So, you worry. And you’ll keep worrying until you learn to deal with your stress. And so you need to decide: do you want to deal with your stress, or do you want to keep worrying?
Because remember: you’re in control.
I hope you said you want to deal with your stress. Because if you did, your life is about to change for the better. And here is the secret to dealing with stress. And you may roll your eyes at first, but please stay with me. Because if you do, you’ll be glad you did. Ready? Because even though you may feel like your life is out of your control, your life is a story that you get to tell. It’s not some random series of unfortunate events, unless you choose to make it so. Because you have the ability to control your own story. It’s just that no one told you that before. But now you know. And yes — I do know that you are resisting this seemingly simplistic philosophy. But it’s true. And the stress will keep building until you get this. So please keep reading.
But what is a story?
A story, according to Lisa Cron, author of Story Genius, is about:
- how the things that happen
- affect someone in pursuit of a difficult goal, and
- how that person changes internally as a result.
And you are the protagonist of your story. Which means that everything that happens in your story will get its meaning and emotional weight based on how it affects you — not in some general way, but specifically about you — in pursuit of a specific and difficult goal. The difficult goal is, at its most basic, what is known as the story problem.
It’s about a problem.
Which means that your story revolves around how you will solve a single, escalating problem that you can’t avoid. After all, if it were easy, it wouldn’t be a problem, and there wouldn’t be a story. And it’s not a small problem, either. Instead, it’s a big problem that makes you struggle with a specific internal conflict at every turn, so that at the end of the story you will see things quite differently than you did at the beginning.
And it’s about change.
Which means that you will change. Because change is what the story is all about: how your worldview changes as you solve that single, escalating problem that you can’t avoid. And remember: story is about what happens inside, not outside. In other words, it’s not about the plot — all the stuff that happens. Instead, it’s about how you change as a result of how you respond to the stuff that happens in your life.
So please do this.
So — Instead of worrying, start writing. But where should you start? Start where you are. Here’s a writing prompt that will give you a clear sense of where you are in just 30 minutes. Please take this writing challenge, and then send me a quick note at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to take it to the next level of dealing with your stress. As an experienced men’s life coach, I work with men every day who want to make a significant change in their life. I’m here and ready to help.